Turkey and Hungary were the only states that had not yet confirmed the Nordic nations’ bids for membership in NATO, which needed the unanimous support of all 30 of its current members to do so. The Turkish government raised greater concerns about Sweden than Finland, although both were accused of being overly lenient towards organisations it considers to be terrorist organisations.When Sweden and Finland requested to join NATO last year, Turkey unexpectedly objected, claiming that both nations harbour members of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which is regarded as a terrorist organisation by Ankara and its Western allies.
Finland’s application to join NATO has now been approved by Turkey, ending months of delays; nevertheless, Sweden’s desire to join the military alliance is still being denied. On Thursday, the Turkish Parliament passed the final barrier to membership by voting overwhelmingly in support of Finland’s admission. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “commitment” to include Finland in the defence alliance was fulfilled by the vote. Finland’s president, Sauli Niinisto, declared in a statement following the vote that his nation is “today prepared to join NATO.” “Finland’s membership in NATO has now been approved by all 30 members.” I want to thank every one of them for their trust and support,” he also said.”Finland will be a strong and capable ally, committed to the security of the Alliance”. “We look forward to welcoming Sweden to join us as soon as possible,” the Finnish president added.
Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, also praised the choice. “I appreciate the Grand National Assembly of Turkey’s decision to ratify Finland’s admission. As long as a nation is able and willing to follow the ideals of the alliance’s founding treaty, it can be asked to join NATO if it indicates interest in doing so. Then, Turkey and Hungary changed their minds on Finland’s admission, allowing it to become a member earlier this month. Monday’s vote in support of Finland’s application was 182 to 6 in favour in the Hungarian Parliament. Yet, under Erdogan’s leadership, the nation has evolved into a rather problematic member.
Research Associate, Pakistan House